ROCHESTER — What construction? Thousands of people spent a glorious summer weekend in downtown Rochester Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the seventh annual Green Living Festival, sponsored by MI Green Team.

The festival got its start in April 2006 as an Earth Day event at Oakland University, led by Jerry and Tracy Neale of Natural Awakenings magazine, OU Energy Manager Jim Leidel, and John E. Batdorf, then a board member of the Upland Hills Ecological Awareness Center.

But as environmental awareness has moved to Main Street, so has the festival. Well, as close as you can get to it this year, given Rochester’s Main Street rebuild.

Attendees had the chance to shop at 12 exhibit areas, including natural and organic foods and farmers market; learn at roundtables and presentations; and celebrate with kids’ activities and a food and beer tent, as well as a Party for the Planet music stage.

Exhibits also included a Chevrolet Volt and other high-mileage GM products. Nearly two dozen food vendors were also showing off (your humble narrator took advantage of Deckan Coffee Co.,, and Naturally Nutty Foods, A variety of green home companies offering everything from insulation to solar energy also exhibited, as did both major Michigan utilities, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy.

Among the more interesting exhibitors were a pair of rain barrel companies, offering natural equipment to turn the rain runoff of your roof into usable water for yard or garden, rather than sending it directly to rivers or sewer systems.

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